A group of approximately 70 Salmon Arm residents gathered to mourn the lives lost in the shooting at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec mosque in Quebec City.
Six people are dead following the shooting which took place Sunday evening. A further 19 were injured in the Jan. 29 attack.
Alexandre Bissonnette, a 27-year-old university student, is in police custody and faces six counts of murder.
Speakers at the Salmon Arm vigil chose not to emphasize the shooter’s role, but rather offer thoughts and prayers for the victims and their families.
Mayor Nancy Cooper spoke of Quebec City as a fortress against fear and intolerance, followed by Coun. Louise Wallace, who grew up in Quebec City and repeated the speech in French.
“Love is stronger than hate. Love is stronger than fear. Living in Salmon Arm, I have no fear,” said Clara Scheil, who organized the vigil.
Cindy Derkaz, a member of the group of volunteers who worked to bring the Syrian refugees to Salmon Arm also spoke.
Mustafa Zakreet, Salmon Arm’s first Syrian refugee, led the other Muslims present in prayer.
He dedicated the prayer to the souls of the victims of the shootings in Quebec and to Canada.
Zakreet praised the love and generosity of Salmon Arm residents and says he feels the community has become his home.